Winter in central New York has been mild the past few years, causing problems for outdoor recreational businesses. The lack of snow is forcing the closure of Val Bialas Sports Center in Utica.

The ski center will close December 18th after operator Mark Ford gave the city of Utica his 90 day notice. "We have fought mother nature over the last few years and have lost. During the last 2 years, we were open only 6 days with sufficient snow."

Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri said in a statement the center will be open but only occasionally.

Due to several factors, such as the erratic winter weather in recent years, insurance cost and regulations from the State, it was not feasible for Mark to continue to operate the ski area.  The City’s goal is to operate the ski area on a limited basis when the weather conditions allow the ski area to be utilized.

Last season the ski center was open 6 days. The year before it didn't open all season.